Bilirakis Helps Secure Over $1.29 Million for Healthcare in Pinellas
Washington, DC: The office of Congressman Gus Bilirakis is proud to announce that, thanks in part to his advocacy efforts, Community Health Centers of Pinellas has just received $1.29 million in federal funding to improve residents’ access to quality healthcare. Community Health Centers offer primary care, dental, mental health and substance abuse treatment on a sliding scale basis. Highlights of this grant funding include $465,758 which will be used to create a mobile primary care unit that will serve 50,000 residents. Also, $337,400 will be allocated for center improvements to help the centers withstand future natural disasters, and $285,000 will be used to expand the agency’s efforts to offer coordinated substance abuse and mental health treatment. This newest award is part of the $5 billion Congress authorized nationwide to fight opioid addiction and expand access to treatment. Florida has now received over $100 million in federal funding for this purpose over the past 14 months. Members of the press are invited to join Congressman Bilirakis and leaders of the Community Health Centers of Pinellas to learn more about how these funds will benefit Pinellas residents. The press conference will be held on October 19, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at 247 S Huey Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689.
As a champion for Community Health Centers and the primary author of legislation to reauthorize funding for Community Health Centers (which also was signed into law as part of the 2018 Omnibus spending bill), Congressman Bilirakis was actively involved in securing the funds for these grant program. He also advocated directly to the Health Resources and Services Administration on behalf of the Pinellas applications.
“I am always honored to advocate on behalf of my district to help ensure that our community receives its fair share of federal dollars, however, very few issues are as important as improving access to quality, affordable healthcare. Community Health Centers have a proven track record of providing high quality, cost-efficient health care to approximately 25 million Americans, including over 7 million children and 300,000 Veterans. Community Health Centers have long enjoyed bi-partisan support because they are a prime example of what is working in our health care system, and I am proud to helped secure funding to expand their work in our community,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
Each year, there are over 100 million coordinated and integrated patient visits throughout the 1,400 Community Health Centers across the country. Community Health Centers truly serve as a medical home for underserved patients including the uninsured, underinsured, and working poor. Their patient centered approach fosters a close partnership between the patient and physician in order to promote positive health outcomes and coordinate follow-up care through appropriate case management. This delivery model greatly reduces duplication of services and drives down the overall cost of health care. Additionally, at least 51% of the local Board of Directors for Community Health centers are required to be users of the health services offered at the center. This requirement ensures that the operation of the facility meets the unique needs of the targeted population within their community and remains responsive to unmet needs that may exist.